After establishing an ergonomics program, this mid-sized insurance company achieved a dramatic reduction in lost workdays and a 50 percent reduction in workers' compensation claims for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
In 1989 Erie became concerned when it experienced four work-related cumulative trauma disorders so severe they required surgery -- the first cases that were so serious.
The company physician and registered nurse (R.N.) spoke to executive management about the problem and were charged with developing an action plan. The program they developed and implemented included: an educational forum to explain to the employees the importance of early reporting of symptoms; evaluations of employee workstations by their R.N.; early referral of employees with symptoms to the company doctor; and the institution of regular hourly exercise stretches. Over the years, the company's ergonomics program has continued to expand, including the following:
After establishing their ergonomics program, this mid-sized insurance company achieved a dramatic reduction in lost workdays and a 50% reduction in workers compensation claims for work-related MSDs. While the rate of work-related MSD injuries increased initially before decreasing (due to their emphasis on early reporting), the drop in injury severity, lost days and compensation claims was immediate.
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